LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 6, 2017: Liverpool's captain Philippe Coutinho Correia adjusts his armband during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between Liverpool FC and FC Spartak Moscow at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Barcelona “not optimistic” about signing Philippe Coutinho in January

Barcelona are losing faith in signing Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool next month, according to Spanish journalist Guillem Balague.

The Catalan giants spent all summer attempting to bring the 25-year-old to Camp Nou, but the Reds stood firm and never changed their stance on the matter.

Recent reports have suggested the La Liga leaders will be back in for Coutinho in next month’s transfer window, but those rumours have been quashed.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Balague, who is admittedly ridiculed by some supporters online, discussed the current situation surrounding Liverpool’s star man.

“Liverpool don’t want to sell Coutinho,” Balague said.

“That’s where they stand right now, so Barcelona are not optimistic about the possibility of Coutinho going there.

“Obviously they will try and they want to make an offer in January, but even Coutinho’s entourage are thinking it probably won’t happen, because Liverpool are saying the same as what they said in the summer: ‘We are not interested in selling’.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Friday, December 22, 2017: Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia celebrates scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Arsenal and Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This news will be a boost to the Reds, with Coutinho in sparkling form this season, following fears that he may down tools after not sealing his dream move.

The Brazilian has scored 11 goals and registered seven assists, and has excelled in both his former left-sided role, and in a deeper midfield berth.

There is a certain inevitability about Coutinho playing for Barca one day, unfortunately, but it doesn’t look as though he will be gone before the end of the season.

Losing him in January would be a major blow, ahead of the crucial top-four battle and the Champions League knockout stages.

It is nearly five years since Coutinho joined Liverpool from Inter Milan for £8.5million, and he has gone on to be one of the club’s best foreign players of all time.

The Boxing Day visit of Swansea City will see him make his 200th Reds appearance, during which time he has netted on 53 occasions, many of them spectacular strikes.

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